Learner drivers to be allowed on motorways by June

Learner drivers to be allowed on motorways by June
Learner drivers will soon be allowed to travel on motorways to help them “gain valuable experience” before passing their driving tests.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has confirmed provisional licence holders will be permitted to practice on the country’s busiest and fastest roads from Monday June 4 – providing they are accompanied by a qualified instructor in a vehicle with dual controls.

The RAC has welcomed the changes and says the new rules will “improve safety and enhance the confidence of new drivers”.

READ MORE: Changes to the driving test December 2017

It will not be compulsory for instructors to take their students onto motorways, but they will have the option to do so.

The DVSA said there are currently no plans to add a motorway driving section to the official driving test.

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: “We welcome the news that learner drivers will be allowed to take lessons on the motorway under the supervision of an approved driving instructor in a dual-controlled car, something that motorists we surveyed were overwhelmingly supportive of.

“While motorways are statistically our safest roads, it can be daunting using them for the first time after passing the driving test. Giving learners the option to gain valuable experience on our fastest and busiest roads should further improve safety and enhance the confidence of new drivers.”

The DVSA said the rules only apply to learner drivers in cars. Motorcyclists will still not be allowed to travel on motorways during their training.

READ MORE: Roundabouts – how to deal with them and pass your test

Trainee driving instructors will also be unable to take students onto motorways until they are fully qualified.

Lynne Barrie, chair of the Approved Driving Instructors National Joint Council, said: “To allow learners to have this experience will help them develop skills in the pre-test period which makes far more sense and will allow them to manage driving on high speed roads more effectively once they have a licence.

“We also applaud the government decision that only approved driving instructors in dual-controlled cars will be able to take them on the motorway and we will do so at a time when the learner is confident enough to do this at around test standard.

“With this extra experience on the fastest roads it should help to improve safety and the confidence of new drivers”.

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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